Medicare ready to reimburse telehealth

Medicare finalizes rules for telehealth

CMS, the regulatory body that determines which medical treatments will be reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid, is now finalizing the rules to reimburse doctors and clinicians for remote care, starting in 2020. These new rules allow for reimbursement of remote examination of a patient in another location by qualified medical professionals. mHealth Intelligence

dis-rup-shun: This is likely a watershed event for the connected health and wellness industry. Despite desperate need for cost savings and new efficiencies through technologies, connected health and wellness products have not been adopted by consumers or care providers at any reasonable scale. It appears that, despite the effectiveness of remote patient monitoring, without a reimbursement model, care providers have not deployed the technology except in rare cases. Allowing Medicare funds to pay for remote patient visits will make remote patient monitoring a standard offering in rural and urban areas alike. The connected wellness market hopes this development will be a catalyst for adoption of many effective technologies that are available today.

Xerox makes offer to purchase larger HP

Xerox announced an offer to acquire HP for a combination of stock and cash in order to cut up to $2 billion in operating expenses. Xerox’s market capitalization is $8.05 billion to HP’s $27.27 billion. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Is this a mind game? If two ships are slowly sinking and everyone on one ship jumps to the other and then 10% of people are thrown into icy water, what’s left? 90% of the people and one ship. This is not progress – this is a survival game. These are two of the strongest corporate brands in tech history – both once leaders in their respective markets. This merger reminds one of the 2001 Carly Fiorina-directed merger of sinking HP with sinking Compaq – a merger that cost her the CEO position, thousands of jobs, and billions in market value. Surely there are some innovators that can help these companies focus on developing new and emerging technology products and services.

Xiaomi launches Apple Watch knock-off

Xiaomi, the Chinese maker of smartphones and wearables, has released an Apple Watch clone for $185. The Mi Watch runs the company’s MIUI operating system and features apps 40 popular Chinese apps. As expected, the device includes speakers, microphone, heart rate monitor, and connectivity via cellular, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and NFC. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: While imitation is flattery, Xiaomi’s watch is a less expensive copy of Apple’s premium priced device. Hey Xiaomi, did you know that Apple has sued vendors before for copying its design and look and feel? It seems odd that this Chinese firm would launch this Apple clone in the face of a hot trade war that intends to end illegal use of protected intellectual property. Maybe Xiaomi wants to take the heat of off Chinese telecom vendor Huawei, or maybe Xiaomi determined that the design of the Apple Watch is generic (black rectangle) enough that it cannot be protected.

IOTc, the Internet of Things Consortium launches summit

The Internet of Things Consortium launches IOTc Next, The Connected Futures Summit. The event takes place in New York City’s TimesCenter on November 12th.

dis-rup-shun: Readers of are entitled to event discounts. The one day event features a wide variety of IOT topics and speakers. The agenda topics include: financing IOT projects, user interfaces, media organizations in a connected world, marketing how-to’s, seeing the future, IOT and mobility, smart homes, connected health and wellness, securing devices and networks, connected retail, smart cities, and the ethics of IOT. 5 days to register.

Uber forgot to program jaywalking into autonomous car’s software

In a federal investigation of what went wrong when an autonomous car killed a woman in Arizona, it was determined that the car’s software was not programmed to account for jaywalking (crossing the street outside of a cross walk – for our foreign readers) pedestrians. Wired

dis-rup-shun: This discovery is a blow to our trust and confidence in: the (likely) young, over-worked and over-caffeinated developers from Silicon Valley who may not even own a car; the QA lab at Uber that is supposed to simulate enough use cases to find deficiencies in a program before it goes live; regulators that approve the testing of new devices with the general public. Technologies fail, and even several rockets produced by NASA, the most fastidious tech organization in history, exploded and killed people, but this discovery is a shocking reminder that the tech companies we trust make some really big mistakes. Since the industrial revolution, companies have built products that are dangerous (737 Max, anyone?) and government oversight mostly resolves safety issues, if the product is on the government’s watch list. Whose is responsible for proper certification of autonomous vehicles?

Consumers demanding technology to change healthcare

Mary Meeker says digitization of care is well underway

Now famous tech trend investor and publisher of annual trends report, Mary Meeker, has stated that the digitization of the health care industry is responding to consumer pressure to be more transparent and convenient. Areas impacted are health care records, health information, scheduling appointments with providers, measuring health with wearables and devices, and telemedicine. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: The health industry has been slow to embrace technology, primarily as care payers have been unwilling to pay the cost of new technologies. A bonus of the Affordable Care Act has been a restructuring by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of what procedures get reimbursed by the U.S. Government. The shift to consumers paying a larger portion of healthcare has resulted in demand for technologies to increase convenience, offer more information, and reduce costs. Healthcare is shifting to a consumer, not industry, driven marketplace and the growing demand makes it great business for technology companies.

Cozy relationship between DOJ and Apple, Google

The DOJ has been reported to be considering anti-trust investigations against Apple and Google, while the FTC may be looking into Amazon and Facebook. Senator Elizabeth Warren, however, has determined and announced that the person at the DOJ in charge of a potential inquiry is Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, a man who was a paid lobbyist for both Google and Apple. The Senator is calling for Delrahim to recuse himself if any inquiry occurs. Gizmodo

dis-rup-shun: Senator Warren is doing her part to drain the swamp and expose the increasingly cozy relationships Silicon Valley has formed with Washington through an army of lobbyists. The GAFAM (or FAANG, if you prefer) big-five are increasingly setting pricing and policies on the Internet, and are counting on their political investments to pay off, but an increasing consumer backlash on privacy and data standards will make for a rougher road.

Amazon ends restaurant delivery businesses

Amazon has announced the end of two U.S. food delivery businesses: Amazon Restaurant and Daily Dish. At the same time, the company has increased its stake in delivery business and former competitor, Deliveroo. Deliveroo, based in the UK, is Uber Eats largest competitor. Engadget

dis-rup-shun: We are not accustomed to hearing about Amazon retreating. Amazon is not afraid to lose money in new ventures, and is generally patient. If the company believed that there is no future in food delivery by car, it would likely not have invested in Deliveroo, unless to keep Uber Eats in check as Amazon’s developing drone fleet will challenge Uber’s fleet at some point in the future. Amazon likely wishes to use its stake in Deliveroo to stay connected to the business until it can provide a more profitable form of food delivery than people in cars.

The European Union implements drone regulations

The EU has drafted specific operating requirements for drones, allowing registered drones to fly across borders. The regulations categorize drones in three classes, based on size, purpose and degree of risk. The regulations are likely to be in effect in one year. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: The EU is establishing itself as the efficient and effective regulator of technology. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data privacy standard, adopted in 2018, changed the way that big data companies operating in Europe store and transmit personal data, including processes and disclosure. Kudos to the EU for taking action and demonstrating leadership in management of personal data, and now drone usage.